The Clown Care Unit (CCU) of NYC is an amazing and animated group of people that collaborate to cheer up patients and family in hospitals throughout the New York area. They dress up as clown doctors and strive to ease the moods and tension in families while lifting spirits and hopes in children who are often enduring life threatening hospitalization visits. Joking with nurses and doctors helps to keep the mood light(er) in the hospitals while encouraging trust in the clinical staff that the children or parents may not fully have. The threat of their child’s safety is often a higher focus than the possibility that someone can save them. Although they hope for the best, their hope is masked with their doubts. The jovial atmosphere helps to boost the moods, ease the tensions, and strengthen confidence even amongst hospital staff.
Although health care in the United States is highly biologically focused, the ethnomedical approach that the clowns bring help to add to the healing. The mix of approaches attacks both the body and mind, encouraging patients to believe that they can be stronger and healthier, that they will be, and that they will fight for it. The mental struggle in many patients is believed to be just as powerful as the medicine from the hospital’s biological approach. From watching The Horse Boy, and reading about the Clowns in NYC, the unanimous discussion is that there is some aspect to believing in oneself, or outside spirits that can help boost a person’s health. Whether the clowns are real doctors is not relevant, because the children relax, believe, and hope, which is as good as gold.
The clowns are not real doctors though in real life. Not in the MD sense of things at least, hence making them a bit of an outcast from society. They dress different than much of the culture. They act silly and unconventional, and financially, they do not typically make a living that would place them in a high socioeconomic status, such as a doctor. Although their services are loved by all (well by most) they are not looked at in a great respect by society. They are not so much respected, nor considered credible, not even looked at as a career that many would possess, yet again, they are much appreciated, hired to make other smile and feel good, and bring an amazingly happy atmosphere to everywhere they go.